Some 50 patients have been availing of a music therapy pilot program offered at the Cayman Islands Hospital.
During the 10-week program, which kicked off in July, Cayman Music Therapy’s Kimberly Febres has spent six hours per week with patients. Some of the patients’ conditions included: stroke, head injury, kidney failure, and heart disease.
In music therapy, music and therapy is combined to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. “There is need and demand for much more than that so we are hoping that in the future, the budget will allow for more hours and we can serve more patients and their families,” said board-certified music therapist and founder of Cayman Music Therapy Julianne Parolisi.
Music therapists are often asked to visit patients who are on ventilators or are semiconscious and may need assistance with relaxation.
Funding for the program was provided by the Ministry of Health, which health minister Osbourne Bodden pointed out is also the Ministry of Culture. “It is pleasing to see the evidence-based use of music interventions, music therapy being one of several of the arts therapies, being used to improve the health and experience of some of our patients at the Health Services Authority,” he said.
“I witnessed first-hand the joy and benefits brought to a patient through only two sessions. The results were quite amazing and we (the Ministry of Health and Health Services Authority), will seek to make this a full time endeavour,” Mr. Bodden said in a press release.
Ms. Parolisi said, “We have almost completed the pilot, and I am happy to report that it has been going exceptionally well – with very high satisfaction from both patients and staff. The nurses seem to really understand how we can best assist them and direct us to the patients who can benefit most from our services.”
Ms. Parolisi, who founded Cayman Music Therapy 2010, said hundreds of patients of all ages have been helped through the organization’s various programs.